Opatija is situated on the east coast of the peninsula of Istria, at the foot of the mountain and nature park Učka, in the bay of Kvarner.
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Location and climate
Opatija is well protected from northern and north-western winds due to the nearby mountain. It has rich vegetation, as well as its surrounding area. The climate is Mediterranean with warm summers and mild winters. The average temperature in January as the coldest month amounts to 4,7 °C, while the warmest months July and August have the average temperature of 23 °C. Sea temperature can reach 26 °C during the summer. Opatija has 2.030 hours of sunshine per year and the Učka mountain detains the dampness brought by western winds.
History and sights
Opatija was first mentioned in the 15th century. It was developed around the Benedictine abbey of St. Jacob and at first there was only 35 houses situated near the monastery. Opatija started growing in the mid 19th century when the railway Vienna – Trieste with the branch line for Rijeka was built. The Austrian company of the Southern Railways opened the first hotel “Kvarner” in 1884. Many parks, roads, promenades and piers were also built to the nearby Lovran. The chapel of St. Jacob from 1506 is preserved, remodeled in the 18th century and expanded in the 20th century. The villa Angiolina, as well as the parks St. Jacob and Angiolina were created in the 19th century. Quite significant are the fountains “Helios” and “Selena” from 1889, as well as the sculpture “Women with a seagull” on a cliff in the sea and neo-romanesque church of St. Mary of the Annunciation. Architecture of villas, pensions and hotels has characteristics of Art Nouveau and neostyles, while the facades and ornaments on the buildings show the Mediterranean spirit. The most prominent buildings built after the Second World War are the hotels Admiral, Ambasador, Adriatic I and Adriatic II.
Opatija is a tourist destination on the east coast of Istria and a well known health resort. It has a leading position in Croatia as a destination for organized counseling, seminars and conferences. Throughout the year it offers numerous concerts, festivals, exhibitions and other culture and sports events. 12 km long pathway that connects Opatija with Lovran and Ičići, “Lungomare”, is one of the most beautiful promenades on the Adriatic. In the nearby area are situated two national parks – Brijuni and Risnjak, as well as the island of Lošinj where you can find the largest Mediterranean habitat of dolphins. Along the beautiful bays you can find place for practicing sports like tennis, handball or underwater activities, but there are also the modern and excellently equipped marinas, ACI marina Opatija and marina Admiral.
How to arrive?
Several airports are connected with Opatija by public bus services: Airport Ljubljana (127 km), Airport Trieste (110 km), Airport Zagreb (180 km), Airport Pula (96 km) and the closest one – Airport Rijeka on the island Krk (45 km).
By car or bus
If you are arriving from the direction of Italy or Slovenia, cross the border at Pasjak and Rupe and reach Matulji from where there is a road to Opatija. If arriving from the direction of Zagreb, follow the highway Zagreb – Rijeka. Bus lines connect Rijeka with every bigger Croatian and European cities.
You can use any of the ferry lines going to Rijeka, from where Opatija is only 10 km away via the Adriatic highway.